How Does a CPAP Machine Work? Know your CPAP equipment – and how to care for it. Understand how to build your own CPAP routine. Breathe easy. It’s that simple.
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Wondering how a CPAP machine works?
If you’re going to be spending your nights with it, you probably want to understand how a CPAP machine works. After all, it’s going to be the reason you’re getting better sleep than you can remember for years. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which your airway is blocked periodically as you sleep. When your airway is blocked, obviously, you don’t breathe – and this can happen multiple times each night.
What Is a CPAP Machine?
Your CPAP machine blows pressurized air to keep the soft tissues of your mouth and throat from collapsing and blocking your airway. It’s comprised of four main parts: the machine, the mask, the filters, and the tubing.
- The CPAP Machine: Your machine is essentially an air compressor that pulls air in, pressurizes it according to your machine’s settings, and then gently blows it into your nose and mouth. You can also get a machine with a built-in humidifier, which is a great solution if you find yourself waking up with a dry mouth or nose. The machine itself is quiet and small enough to fit on your nightstand.
- The CPAP Mask: Your mask is designed to fit your face comfortably. There are many types of mask, and you’ll want to choose the one that fits you best. Some patients prefer nasal pillows. Others like the full-face mask. Some choose the nasal mask. Where the air comes out, your mask is fitted with disposable silicon cushions to create a comfortable seal between the mask and your face.
- The CPAP Filters: Your filters ensure your CPAP machine blows clean air into your airways. They generally need to be replaced about once a month – but you’ll want to follow the specific manufacturer’s recommendations on the filters you use.
- The CPAP Tubing: Your tubing or hoses are the pathway the CPAP machine’s pressurized air takes to get into your airways. The tubing is flexible and long enough that you’ll be able to move around and roll over without feeling constricted. It’s crucial to keep the tubing clean – and to replace it monthly or sooner if needed.
These components work together to help you sleep through the night without snoring or jolting awake as you gasp for air. It might sound crazy that just having a stream of pressurized air blowing into your airways could make such a significant difference in your sleep quality while also lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke, but you’ll believe it after you’ve been using your CPAP machine for a while.
Follow Your CPAP Routine
The best way to get optimum results from using your CPAP machine is to build a routine you can follow every night. Like creating any new habit, it can take some time and practice to make it feel like second nature. A few tips to make your CPAP machine work well for you every night:
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Watch your diet.
- Aim to get to bed – and to get up – at the same time every day.
- Do what you can to decrease stress in your life.
- Get outside and breathe fresh air every day.
- Do not skip nights with your CPAP machine. Regularity helps it work better.
Our goal is to make using your CPAP machine a hassle-free and affordable part of your life. That’s why we make reordering your disposable supplies easy. In fact, you can get them shipped to you automatically. If we can help you with your supplies, or you have questions about getting started with CPAP, just ask.